As we make our way through our daily routines, there come times to rehydrate, refresh, and restore. Tea is the ideal noontime beverage, be it hot or iced, as it accomplishes all of these. After a good morning’s work, we’re ready to fuel up for the remainder of the workday, and replenishing our bodies with both food and liquid is critical to do mid-day.

Your caffeinated morning beverage selection is often the central figure on the breakfast menu, around which breakfast foods are chosen. At lunchtime, tea moves to the role of accompanist to whatever diverse food selections now take center stage. Lunch is the main meal of the day where tea is the obvious choice of beverage, for both wellness and culinary reasons, thanks to the vast diversity of tea types and flavor profiles available.

So keeping in mind that the teas mentioned here are meant to enhance your lunchtime dining, here are some of the combinations we’ve found to be well-balanced complements to lunch selections:
Best all-around lunchtime choices: lighter black teas (favorites are Darjeeling or Nilgiri), flavored black teas, smoother green teas (like Lung Ching, or an organic green I recently tasted from Yunnan…) and flavored green teas. We find that these teas pair well with most sandwiches and salads. Generally, green teas work better with lighter-tasting foods, such as poultry, fish and veggies.

Black teas will complement red meats more smoothly, as well as smokier fish. If you’re going with a scented or flavored tea, you have the opportunity to match or complement the flavor component with your food. For instance, with smoked salmon, I love a smokier black tea (Lapsang Souchong or Russian Caravan) or you can go with a complementary flavor – many love the citrus of Earl Grey with smoky foods. On the herbal side, Rooibos pairs amazingly well with many cuisines. Because I was relegated to caffeine-free diets several times, I came to love this calming and amazingly versatile beverage. It goes as well with Italian food as Mexican. More on this great drink in my next blog post… I’ll take a time out to write about Rooibos.

And keep in mind, that all lunchtime tea choices can be served hot or over ice. Freshly brewed iced tea is an eye-opening luxury we can all easily afford on a daily basis! Our retail general manager did a great blog post on iced tea at the start of the summer, you can get all the details here.